Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Long Day, Early Morning

It had been a long day for Jesus.

He preached in the local synagogue...and in such a way that people were amazed. ("This man talks like he really knows what he's saying; not like the half-hearted teachers we normally hear!") But he couldn't even get through the sermon without a demon-possessed man standing up and yelling "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"

Well...Jesus wasn't wanting that kind of testimony just yet, so he ordered the evil spirit to shut up and move out.

After the Sabbath service, Jesus went to Peter and Andrew's house, where Peter's mother-in-law would have been happy to give them dinner, but she was sick in bed...so Jesus healed her.

After sundown, when the Sabbath was officially over, the house was overrun with townspeople bringing their sick and demon-possessed relatives and friends for Jesus to heal and deliver. He did, of course...for all we know, well into the night.

And yet, Mark records, in chapter 1, verse 35: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

Truth is...the normal thing to say at this point is "If Jesus needed to get away and pray, how much more do we need to do so?" But the thought strikes me...maybe it wasn't his need that motivated him to pray, but his relationship that made him want to pray.

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